Coalitions - A Mystery to the GOP

Created on Thursday, 22 August 2013 12:09
Written by Super User
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The Republican Party appears to be on the verge of a Civil War.  The "Establishment GOP" are openly attacking the "Tea Party  Wing" as dangerous , and  liars . The Tea Party Wing is punching back with strong rhetoric and even some TV ads.   Almost every evening, Mark Levin attempts to rally listeners to "defeat" the establishment GOP.

While this writer strongly identifies with the "Tea Party" wing of the GOP; we wish to emphasize a point that seems lost on the leaders of both wings.

Neither "wing" can defeat the Democrats without the support of the other.

This reality was never more evident than in the last Presidential election. Mitt Romney failed to enthuse either wing of the GOP, most likely because he has been members of both.  For those with limited memory capacity, in 2008 Romney was the conservative challenger to the uber-moderate John McCain. In 2012, many conservatives cast Romney as the uber-moderate and rotated through a series of "anti-Romney" candidates ending with Rick Santorum.

By the time Romney was nominated and the General Election began, both wings believed "the other side" won this one. Accordingly, each wing felt it was up to the other to rally the public and generate momentum for Romney. In the end, even though (contrary to popular myth)  Romney significantly improved on McCain's vote totals - it wasn't enough.

For those who cling to the myth that Romney didn't match McCain's totals...

vs.

(Election totals courtesy of David Leip's US Election Atlas)

The point here being, that 2012 wasn't the tectonic shift that many have proclaimed; it is simply the result of lagging enthusiasm in BOTH factions of the GOP. In fact, only 170K flipped votes, or 344K more GOP voters (in FLA, OH, VA, NH) would have made Mitt Romney  the President.

The Solution - Recognize and Embrace the Coalition

 

This is probably the single area where Democrats have Republicans beat - by a mile.  Democrats thrive on accentuating racial, ethnic, and gender identities and then convincing each that only voting Democrat can save them from the evil GOP. In truth, many of the Democrat coalition have little in common. Blacks aren't particularly in favor of Amnesty or Gay rights,  nor do Jewish voters. To some extent Blacks are  opposed to Hispanic issues or Jewish issues. Yet - each segment of the Democrat coalition remain loyal to Democrat candidates.

By contrast, Republican voters seem to aggressively examine every candidate in hoping to be the first to find the "disqualifying" position. Maybe it's a soft immigration statement, maybe it's an abortion comment (in either direction), maybe it's a past vote for a tax increase. In every case, Republicans, rather than recognizing that in a coalition - sometimes the other wing wins; tend to pout and stay home. No, not all - or even a majority - but enough to depress turn out  to lose against a committed Democrat opposition.

How can we energize a "Coalition Based GOP?"

We propose a transparent division system within the GOP. Perhaps the GOP division and the GNP division. (Grand NEW Party) Republican candidates could declare their membership with one side or the other, and in cases of national or major State elections, informal primaries could be held on both sides. Something of a "playoff system" for politics.  

On one "division" would be the moderate, big government Republicans that are generally comfortable with the size of Government - but seek to slow or stop its growth, and use the Government to promote more conservative goals.

The other "division" would be the Libertarian leaning "Tea Party" Republicans that seek to aggressively reduce the size, scope, and intrusiveness of Federal Government. 

This "splitting" of the GOP would create two distinct factions that when combined; make up a significant portion of the American electorate. Centerist Democrats would be attracted to the "squishy" moderate wing, while young and libertarian leaning voters would be drawn to the "New Wing" of the Republican Party. In essence, embracing this "division" would tend to marginalize the Democrat party - who's hard core left agenda  represents only 20 - 25% of the American electorate.

Adding an additional level to GOP "PlayOffs" has numerous inherent benefits.

1. It creates a natural "news event."  It would be hard for even the mainstream media to ignore this major political activity. It would help lessor known candidates gain name recognition and enhance general election chances.

2. The broad depth of opinion and positions on display would draw a striking contrast with the Democrats  who allow disagreement on nothing. 

3. It would make the eventual primary race in the GOP a 2 person race, rather than 1 moderate vs. many conservatives - which always splits the conservative vote.

To be successful, throughout the process, both wings would need to reiterate that they are committed to supporting the overall winner. There should be significant sanctions for those that would break ranks and either support or run on a competing party ticket. 

Before dismissing this idea out of hand; consider that it is not an attempt to "create" something. This division already exists, and it's become a threat to Republican victory - in other words "A Democrat Dream Come True."

Should the GOP embrace and harness the energy of division by recognizing and promoting it; that dream will become "The Democrats Worst Nightmare."